Several regressive marijuana-related bills have been filed in Washington’s Legislature this year, but two stand out as being particular wrongheaded, including one to repeal legalization entirely; and both were filed by the same person.
This session Representative Brad Kippert filed House Bill 2096 to repeal marijuana prohibition entirely, as well as House Bill 1625 to make it illegal for someone using marijuana legally to do so in the presence of someone under 18. Klippert is a Pentecostal minister with over 20 years of both law enforcement and military experience, making his opposition to marijuana a little less than surprising.
The good news? Both bills are officially dead for the year; neither received a single cosponsor or a public hearing. But beyond that, Klippert, as with all state representatives in Washington, is up for reelection next year. This gives legalization supporters the opportunity to help remove him from office, and soon. And this is definitely something they should do; if Klippert is going to go as far as introducing a measure to repeal voter-approved legalization, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes it’s bringing in for the state and despite its widespread support, he clearly won’t stop working towards regressive proposals until he’s no longer a lawmaker.
Even if he isn’t successful in something like a repeal of legalization, he may be successful in passing lesser, but still negative proposals; not to mention legalization advocates already have enough to worry about than to have to even address a repeal measure.
With this in mind, it’s vital that Washington State supporters of legalization – especially those in Klippert’s 8th district – do two things; make it clear to him that they oppose his efforts to repeal legalization (email@example.com or 360-786-7882), and work towards electing someone who supports legalization, or at the very least will respect the will of the voters.
About Anthony Martinelli
Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.